I'm buying this lens [used] on Saturday, I read this thread over a few times before making the decision. For me, the good outweighs the bad. All primes have some CA and fringing wide open. I've seen plenty of samples from this lens around the net and in general, not many complaints.
I have a 17-50 2.8 that I use most of the time. I don't need a prime in that range, the 85mm seems perfect to compliment it. Good for those times 50mm isn't near enough reach. It's practically a fast tele-prime. Good for gigs, weddings, street, portraiture.
I got to use the 1.4 version a few weeks ago and loved it. But I dislike the price!
The 1.8 is next best thing, I'm looking forward to using it.
Nice review, but a little overly negative perhaps. As I found across numerous reiews nowhere near as many cons. Nobody else seems to be worried about the magnification, as it's mostly used for portrait/distance shooting.